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dbrucem

VOXATC- Ditch MS Mike

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I really love the VOX ATC addition to the flight sim environment. Having flown in the ATC system I have experienced the stress of dealing with the additional workload of interacting with ATC. However, the default voices are horrible. I just installed the AT&T Natural Speech engine along with two 16 khz voices, Crystal and Mike. The two voices along with the speech engine are available at www.nextup.com for $35, and can be downloaded if desired. Just follow the default installation but install Crystal first as this installs the new speech engine. After installation call up the speech program in windows xp control panel and select the new ATT Mike voice as the default voice. Other voices are available at this site that use less hard drive space and CPU resources if desired. I am only running a mid performance PC and saw very little if any performance loss even with the 16 khz voices. The new speech engine also improves pronunciation, a big plus. Once you select the ATT Mike voice as default VOX ATC appears to just use the two new voices and continues to vary the voice speed as before. Happy flying and talking. ABIT NF7-S motherboard / integrated audioAMD 2000XPWindows XP Pro2-160GB SATA drives / RAID 0Radeon 9500 PRO1 GB DDR memory

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Intrigued by this but don't quite understand: how does VoxATC interface with the AT&T thing? or is it just that there are different voices that can be substituted for the MS ones? if so why buy the speech engine, or do you have to do that to get the voices...?

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VOX ATC uses the Microsoft SAPI 5 Speech recognition and text to speech engine which includes the robotic voices,MS MIKE, Mary and Sam. The AT&T Natural Speech engine is included and installed along with the Natural Voice Crystal file. This engine is required for ATT Mike and any of the optional AT&T voices to work. The initial package is available at www.nextup.com for $35 and includes the two voices along with the new TTS engine. After you install the Crystal and Mike files you just go to your windows control panel and click on the speech icon as you did when you first installed VOX ATC. You then click on the TTS tab and select the new ATT Mike voice as the default. When VOX ATC initializes it recognizes the new default voice along with the enhanced ATT Text to Speech engine. When I installed the ATT Crystal and Mike files I just accepted the default installation folders. After setting the default voice everything else is transparent and VOX ATC functions as normal. For more info go to: http://www.naturalvoices.att.com/support/A...VoicesTTS14.pdf Good luck. :-)

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If you want to try to do a sample voice of what VoxATC would sound like using these voices, go to this URL: http://www.nextup.com/nvdemo.htmlWhen on that page, enter something like the following in the text area:======================================================================Cessna one one five one delta descend and maintain two thousand one hundred feet and turn right heading three two zero.=======================================================================I think it's a great improvement over Microsoft Mike!You can even have some fun with this website:========================================================================Cessna one one five one delta, cleared to land runway niner left. Yee haw.========================================================================Nothing like the controller giving you a "Yee Haw" after clearance!I'm definately going to pick this package up.

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This is GREAT!, time to get out the ol' credit card!!Randy Jura, KPDX

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I just purchased and installed my new Mike and Crystal Voices! It's like a WHOLE new ball game, so much better!! I was really tired of Microsoft Mike........I highly recommend the nextup voices, but boy are they BIG, took forevere to download!Randy Jura, KPDX

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Along with the great voice quality you get more realistic pronunciation of waypoints. DIXIE is now "DIX-E" and CIDUG is spelled leter by letter. Awesome. Downloading is a task though the software is available on CD. I have low tier cable internet and it took six hours to download. Something to do while waiting for Megascenery Northwest to be released. :-)

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Yea, like a lotta guys, I thought the LD767 would be released, patched and old hat by the time those downloads finished!! HA!Randy Jura, KPDX

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Hi Bruce,Sounding more and more tempting. How big is the file for the first two voices? Did it take six hours because of file size or is the transfer speed really slow from their site? I tried putting some of the foreign voices into the demo on their site and the results were really neat, you would get english spoken with the foreign accent, numbers though are spoken in the native language. VoxATC assigns english spellings to all numbers so I am curious if you could put some foreign voices into the SAPI 5 engine and get them to read back with the accent. Don't really feel like spending the money just to find out though. Just imagine the future implications, as you cross a country's border all ATC and much of the chatter with correct foreign accents... really cool :)Thanks for the heads up,Zane

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Zane, I can't speak to altering the accent situation you mentioned, but the first two files you download are about 530 megabytes each!!A bit over a gigabyte. On my system I downloaded them simultaneously but their site would only let me do that at about 56kb/sec, it took three hours total for both. They offer a free downloader, but that does not help the speed, it just plainly takes a LONG time. Randy Jura, KPDX

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With that speed it should have taken you twice as long to download the whole thing. 3 hours ain't bad at all. You probably had a cumulative speed of over 100 kB/sec. Michael J.WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2

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Has anyone tried any others though? - oh, thanks for the explanation by the way. I read up a little on it and found that the Windows XP help file on Speech links to a whole load of TTS suppliers (some defunct, some merged). I've obtained for example the Flexvoice demo which is very impressive - in effect lets you create your own voices, though they're still fairly robotic. Anyone know how many different voices VoxATC would/could use....?

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Zane, according to the tech support guy at nextup you would need to have German text residing in your application for the German voice to read. I have emailed several questions to them and received a reply within the hour. They even requested the link to VOX ATC so they could check it out. As for the question about using other voices, any SAPI 5 complient voice will work.

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Thanks Bruce,In the nextup demo you can select one of the foreign voices and type in english text and it will read back sounding like the correct accent, interesting to say the least. Hope that something might come of it with them contacting VoxATC.Zane

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Just to add on here. I am downloading at a combined speed of 300 k/sec with no problems.Mike at: 156 KB/secCrystal at: 149 KB/secat the same time. I'm in florida on a 3 Mbit/sec Cable connection. Works good for me! Time to go watch a movie!

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